Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Please Help Stop This Law...

I beg of you, seriously.

Like porn or not, these additions won't stop child porn, but they will make the private information of people working in porn accesable to anyone who wants it...which can lead to anything and everything from stalking to identity theft.

I've sent in my letter of protest, you can do the same by writing toAdmin.ceos@usdoj.gov

Include in the subject line: Docket No.Crm104

You must do so by Sept. 10th....

I don't ask for much out of people...favors, money, support, whatever...this, this I am asking you to do...

What I said?

As a US citizen with a computer, I am writing you just to let you know that I do not like the revisions being proposed for 2257. Yes, it is important to know that the performs in pornography are over the age of 18, and that proof of age is documented and on file. 2257 already does this. The proposed additions to this law demand that a porn performer give up more personal information than most other people working in the US have to give up (as many eomployers require only legal name, proof of age, and SSN), and then makes that information easily accessed by anyone, with good intent or not, who wishes to have it. There is no national data base for other professions containing maiden names, every stage name ever used, and full legal name. This makes performers in porn far more likely to be subject to everything from identity theft to stalking and harassment.

The people you are after, the child pornographers, will never comply with any form of 2257, so why go after and punish those pornographers who already comply with your law? This law will not even truly effect the larger porn companies, but it will be devistating to smaller businesses, it will intimidate performers and put them at risk, it invades their privacy, and these are all people, from Vivid to the budding "woman friendly net pornographer" who already willingly comply with and support 2257. It will not deter illegal (child) pornographers in the least, and it is terribly unfair to the people who legally perform in porn and honestly puts them at severe risk by effectively outting any and all of their personal information to anyone who wants it.

I understand wanting to keep children out of pornography. I do not understand trying to drive pornographers out of business and threatening the privacy and people who perform in porn legally, which is what this law, moral panic aside, will do. Time, money and effort is better spent going after real child pornographers who have never and never will comply with any form of 2257 than those who already follow the laws currently in place.


  1. Here's my contribution, which I just sent out a few minutes ago:

    Re: Changes to Section 2257 Regulations

    I speak only as one US citizen, as an adult who supports the right of free sexual expression amongst consenting adults, and as someone who is equally concerned about and strongly supports effective and targeted action against those who would exploit children in any arena, including the sexual arena.

    Nevertheless, I find these proposals to expand the breadth and length of Section 2257 to be wholly excessive, totally unnecessary and highly doubtful in achieving the stated goal of containing the problem of child pornography, let alone the goals of protecting children from unwanted exposure to adult-oriented sexual media.

    For starters, the idea of having a "porn registry" where the real names, performance names, SSN's, and other private information can be easily accessible to authorities at a moment's notice, is so beyond the pale of violating basic First Amendment privacy protections as to render the regulations problematic. The potential that such a list could end up in the hands of a willful hacker or outsourced to a private group with an ideological axe to grind is simply too great a risk; and even the stated guarantees of protecting more intimate information rings hollow, considering that the information that would be required could easily be used by an effective hacker to gather much more sensitive information for harrassment...or worse.

    The imposition of unnecessary and redundant bookkeeping requirements on "secondary producers" is another strong objection I have with these proposed regulations (as I also do with the original 2257 regulations when they first came out). Since the primary producers -- the originating sites -- can provide the information needed to verify legal age quite easily, why should such a requirement be imposed on secondary producers just as harshly? In addition, it is important to mention that the overwhelming majority of "secondary producer" sites are NOT major porn producing companies, but regular individual websites owned and operated usually by a single person or couple out of their home. Other than to intentionally bankrupt them for offering consensual sexual expression that may not fit a narrow political concept of sexuality, why would you even want to put them under such a overburden of proof of legal age?

    Also, these regulations are proposed to cover not just performers who engage in explicit sexual acts, but also similated sexual acts, mere nudity, or even "suggestive" non-sexual acts. That would basically cover such an overbroad area of expression that even Hollywood movies or some art forms could be regulated under these proposals...essentially crippling basic free speech and free expression protections for everyone.

    Finally....it is quite doubtful that these regulations will do anything to curb the undeniable problem of child pornography or the stated goals of reducing the exposure of adolescents to explicit sexual media....the latter of which, while certainly not preferable to any decent person, has not been proven to cause any significant harm to children or society. A far better approach would be to use existing law enforcement investigative tactics and effective targeting of known offenders of expllicit child sexual abuse, as well as those who do use whatever media or means to target children for their abuse. This isn't to say that some form of systen of age verification of performers entering the adult media (especially those who begin at the age of 18 to 21) wouldn't be desirable; but once it has been established that the performer is of legal age, that should be the end of the government's role. Porn performers should have the same responsibilities and rights and privileges as any other worker in any other profession in the United States; merely because they happen to perform intimate sex acts for the pleasure of their audience (and for themselves) doesn't mean that they are less worthy of full protections and rights and responsibilities.

    In short: censure and attack the problem at the root (the actual child pornographers); don't make the problem worse by mistakenly going after adults who do no harm to themselves or others.

    Thank you for allowing me to comment on this important issue.

    Anthony Kennerson
    Lafayette, LA

    Probably won't mean a thing to the proponents of these regs, but it's worth a shot.


  2. I'm going to draft something like this soon too. I think it really needs to be emphasized that much of this is a labor issue, and that they shouldn't be penalizing adult performers needlessly in an effort to protect underage people from entering the industry.